Genesis Women’s Shelter has provided support to women in abusive relationships in Dallas since 1985. Now, it is expanding to assist women in southern Dallas with a new nonresidential center and thrift store opening in the fall.

The new center, which will be located at 5020 South Lancaster Road, will have individual and group counseling, advocacy, resources and referral appointments, and child care for mothers during appointments all for no cost. The other half of the building will be a thrift store where Genesis clients will be able to shop for free, and the community can shop at discounted prices.

Jan Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter, said that although Black women are 35% more likely to experience intimate partner violence than white women, Black women represent only 20% of their clients.

“Rather than just expecting people to come to us, this is our first time to reach out into the community,” Langbein said.

Genesis will also turn to the community for an informal needs assessment to understand what services they can bring to residents. Genesis is committed to not only bringing women out of dangerous situations, but giving them the means to overcome hardships.

“In the past year, we definitely have been talking, as a country, about equity and justice for all,” Langbein said. “There can be no equity and justice in the streets, if there is no equity in the home. Until we break the chains of domestic violence, we cannot expect for there to be freedom.”

The new center’s program manager, Cassandra Wesley, a southern Dallas native, was a Genesis client and survivor herself. She is looking forward to reconnecting with her community and sharing her experiences

“We are going to be a safe place where you can come in and if you just need to come in and sit down for a minute and have someone to talk to, that’s what we’re going to be down there for or that’s what I’m down there for,” Wesley said.

Across all locations, Genesis has emergency and transitional housing, therapy, legal services, and on-site K-8 school among other resources. They serve about 3,700 women and children yearly, all for free.